And, the Winner Is

Experts at UC Riverside available to comment on 2017 Academy Awards

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – The dress, the red carpet, the films, music, actors, and actresses – they all come together for the biggest night in Hollywood, The Oscars. As Hollywood prepares for the 89th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, experts at the University of California, Riverside are available to discuss various topics surrounding the big night. UC Riverside scholars can address topics from last year’s diversity debate to the nominees this year, from best picture, to best actor, who’s likely to win, and much more.

Derek Burrill

Derek Burrill, professor of media and cultural studies
(951) 827-1261

“The Oscar nominees this year have managed to answer a lot of the criticisms of the past (sexism, racism, etc.) with ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ and ‘Fences,’ although, the diversity is almost entirely African-American. If ‘Hidden Figures’ were to win, it would mark the first female protagonist in a Best Picture winner since ‘Chicago’ in 2003.

“As far as Best Picture, this year is turning out to be a toss-up. At first, it seemed that ‘La La Land’ was a sure bet, but a critical backlash against the film seems to be the current fad — whether it’s the sexism of Emma Stone’s passive character, Gosling’s out-of-touch jazz lover, or the relative conservatism of the film itself. So, ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Moonlight’ certainly have a shot.

“For Best Actor or Actress, there are several outsider picks, actors who should win, but probably won’t.  Isabelle Huppert is having a banner year, and Denzel Washington was brilliant in a film he directed, but Gosling and Stone are the obvious, safe choices. Additionally, the best supporting male has a funny contest between Jeff Bridges and Michael Shannon for most Western sheriff-y performance, with Bridges having an edge because of his age.

“In the end, the Academy’s ego always gets the best of itself – it loves movies about movies (and the industry) so much, thatLa La Land’ could sweep and stand alongside ‘Titanic’ and ‘All About Eve.’”

Keith Harris

Keith Harris

Keith M. Harris, associate professor of English and media and cultural studies
(951) 827-1016

Harris is available to discuss black cinema, American film, visual culture, and race and gender in popular culture. Among his published essays about black actors and filmmakers are “Stand up, boy’: Sidney Poitier, ‘Boy,’ and Filmic Black Masculinity” in “Gender and Sexuality in African Literatures and Films”; “Clockers (Spike Lee 1995): Adaptation in Black” in “The Spike Lee Reader”; and “That Nigger’s Crazy’: Richard Pryor, Racial Performativity, Cultural Critique” in “Richard Pryor: The life and legacy of a’crazy‘ black man.” Harris is the author of “Boys, Boyz, Bois: An ethics of black masculinity in film and popular media” and recently was guest editor of “Close Up: Black film and Visual Culture,” the special topics section of the journal Black Camera.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Bettye Miller
Tel: 951-827-7847

Archived under: Arts/Culture, , , , , , ,

Top of Page